Sorry Corbyn, consumers aren’t as sold on nationalisation as you’d like to think

Jeremy Corbyn

One of the most remarkable features of the Conservative election campaign was the dog which did not bark. There was no systematic attempt to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s wholly implausible economic narrative. Magic Money Tree comments aside, Labour’s economic incompetence was allowed to pass almost unchallenged. One part of Labour’s economic offer which really did strike […]

Labour’s plans add up on paper, but that won’t translate to the real world

Labour Party General Election Launch 2017

The two main manifestos have been published. Initially at least, the Labour one seems the more popular. Many people are susceptible to being bribed with other people’s money. Labour claims that their plans to spend an additional £49 billion have been fully costed. At one level, this is true. A set of tax changes and […]

Diane Abbott is rubbish at maths – but not compared to the rest of the country

Diane Abbott, 2016 Labour Party Conference

Diane Abbott’s car crash of an interview on LBC radio last week hit the headlines. Asked politely but firmly for the numbers and costings of Labour’s plans on the police, her answers varied wildly from sentence to sentence. Of course, being charitable, it was always open to Labour’s shadow home secretary to spend a few […]

Economists have lost the public’s trust by meddling in politics

Big Ben from London Eye

Michael Gove famously said during the Brexit campaign that people “have had enough of experts”. Certainly, the outcome suggests that many were sceptical of the doom-laden economic projections of Project Fear. But what do the public think about economists themselves? An intriguing survey released last week by ING bank and the Bristol University Economics Network […]

Anti-growth Welsh leaders are denying their voters prosperity by opposing shale

Fracking rig

Leading Welsh politicians seem to be getting ideas above their station. Fifty years ago, Labour held all but four of the Parliamentary seats, and had over 60 per cent of the vote. Now, the Conservatives are by a large margin the second party in terms of votes, and are within hailing distance of Labour. They […]

Need a reason to cut public sector pay and pensions? Look at Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn

The shambles over the treatment of National Insurance has dominated the media’s reporting of the recent Budget. But only the previous week, Jeremy Corbyn made a complete horlicks of his tax return for the second year running. The Bearded One makes a saintly fuss over making his tax affairs transparent. In 2016, he forgot to […]

It’s fanciful to think China’s economy will overtake the US’s anytime soon

Chinese Lanterns

Possibly the single most important of the tensions stoked up by President Trump is the rivalry between the United States and China. Economic strength will be the ultimate determinant of this struggle for the position of Top Nation. Comparisons of the size of economies, particularly ones at very different levels of income per head, are fraught […]

Why the economics profession remains blind to the benefits of Brexit

The office for National Statistics last week estimated that the UK economy grew at an annual rate of 2.4 per cent in the final quarter of last year. This is slightly above the long-term average growth of the past three decades. But a Financial Times survey this month showed that the majority of economists remain […]

The NHS will never have enough cash: the English religion needs reformation

We British like traditions. A well-established one which comes round every year is the “winter crisis” in the NHS. Health provision is a political hot potato not just for this government, or indeed for any particular UK government, but for governments across the developed world. One of the key assumptions made by economists about human […]

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